Think about WHEN you had your implant. You will need the following:-
- The date
- The surgeon’s name
- The hospital name and phone number
- Place a call to the hospital and ask to speak to Medical Records Department.
Documents outlining possible symptoms of mesh injury or complications:-
Obtain your hospital records
State your name, and ask them what their process is to obtain your “Operation Record” or “Implant Log”. Write down the process as they tell you. How long will it take, will it be posted, will they call you to pick it up, will it cost anything…. (ie. they may just provide a copy for you to come and collect with identification, they may ask for you to fill in a form to obtain the record, and some places may charge a fee to do so – currently free in South Australia. If they say you cannot access your record, then state that you wish to obtain it under the “Freedom of Information” Act. You are entitled to it, if it still exists. Most likely they will ask your name, date of birth, the date of the surgery, and who performed the surgery). If the date of the operation was more than seven years ago, there may be issues in obtaining your records. Even if it is more than seven years since your surgery, you can still ask. They may be able to retrieve the record.
On this Operation Record there should be information about your implant (see the example on the right). Most of the time, this will be a sticker/label from the medical device supplied by the manufacturer. It is important to have this information as there are so many different devices and manufacturers. The sticker will give you this information this is CRUCIAL if you need removal surgery in the future and for any legal recourse in the future.
I have called the hospital to obtain my records and they are no longer available
- Check with your GP or surgeon directly (if you are comfortable to do so) if they have a copy of your operation notes or other indicators in your medical records. It may be worth a try. N.B. remember you will need the bar code and lot number on the sticker of the implant.
- If you had private health insurance at the time of your surgery, it may be worth calling them to request the Item or Claim CODES from your surgery – this can help narrow down what procedure/s were performed and what was claimed. If you then go to MBS Online and enter the code, you may be able to work out what type of surgery you had and what type of device was used. Then with these codes you need to find the medical register for Australian prosthesis around that year – this shows the details of the prosthetic they claimed for.
- Failing this, your GP can refer you for a 3d/4d ultrasound scan. We advise that it should be performed by a highly experienced operator who is able to understand mesh devices and their placement in the pelvis/abdomen.